Times of Eswatini
90 young people receive E1.5m start-up kits
MPAKA - A total of 90 young people have received E1.5 million start- up kits, through TVET ( Insika Yensha YemaSwati).
This was revealed by Eswatini National Youth Council ( ENYC) Chief Executive Officer Makhosami Dlamini at Mpaka Vocational Training Centre and it was before the Prime Minister ( PM), Cleopas Dlamini, handed over start- up kits to 10 graduates of the training centre.
Meanwhile, when making his remarks before the handover, the PM said the project was a result of two major studies and researches that were conducted in the country in recent years; State of the Youth Report 2017and the Labour Survey 2020. He said these surveys outlined two key urgent issues that needed to be addressed; youth unemployment and under employment.
He said youth unemployment remained one of the biggest issues they faced as a country. He said statistics suggest that an average of 17 000 to 18 000 pupils finish high school each year, but only about 5 000 were able to go to tertiary. He said from these 5 000, only a few were able to get jobs.
“You then ask yourself what happens to the 12 000 to13 000 who do not get jobs. These are the people who need to be empowered through vocational training,” the PM said.
He said it was for this reason that government continues to put emphasis on youth development and appreciates
programmes such as these. He said government, through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs and partners, developed a number of initiatives to address youth unemployment over the years.
“These include the Youth Enterprise Revolving Fund, supporting youth cooperatives and recently the Eswatini National Youth Empowerment Programme supported by the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP), among others. These funds, however, do not help much if people do not know how to utilise them. This is why training is important,” the PM said.
Furthermore, the premier said deliberate effort was also needed to address the different situations graduates found themselves in. He said in 2020, government engaged Howard University to assist the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs in developing models of addressing youth unemployment. He said the critical data received through the Howard partnership had enabled government to work with real life data to address youth issues.
He highlighted that the TVET programme was funded to the tune of E5.1 million through the Taiwan- Eswatini Cooperation Agreement. He said it focuses on mindset change, support to Technical Vocation Education graduates in the form of start- up kits, accelerated funding for youth in informal business trade. The PM said it also focuses on development and support for youth co- operatives to support mass employment, together with research and documentation of best practices.